Domesticated Animals

There are many different types of domesticated animal in the Empire of Splendour, some familar and others less so. Here we discuss some of the more common creatures.

Horses
Horses are uncommon in the Empire, where they are viewed as almost mythical beasts. To the west, the Hetmen of the Khazarate of Vaarta are accomplished horsemen who have raised a tough, shaggy breed of horse for centuries.


Elephants
These creatures probably originate from Oksa, but are widely used across the Empire for heavy lifting tasks. Their strong association with construction works shows in the veneration of elephant-headed Banarjahab, the Immortal in charge of public works. Imperial elephants are of the smaller, more intelligent variety.


Tembu
Tembu are huge shaggy beasts descended from wild herd animals that used to roam the plains of Utashar. They are bovine herbivores standing about 10 feet tall at the shoulder and are covered in long fibrous hair. This is often shorn and used for making ropes or hard wearing matting (like coir) since it tends to become entangled and smelly if left on the beast. Tembu have blunt bifurcated horns at the end of their snouts which are used for unearthing roots. They can be skittish and stubborn, but their tremendous carrying ability makes them useful as beasts of burden, often used for large merchant caravans. Tembu milk and cheese have a strong flavour that is an acquired taste, but popular in the Imperial heartlands. Tembu cost 800 gp (80 thousand yen) each.

Tembu
Huge Animal
Hit Dice: 11d8+55 (104 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (2 size, +8 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+26
Attack: Gore +11 melee (2d6+5)
Full Attack: Gore +11 melee (2d6+5)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Trample 1d8+15
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, ornery
Saves: Fort +14, Ref +3, Will +9
Abilities: Str 30, Dex 10, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 5
Skills: Listen +12, Spot +6
Feats: Alertness, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Iron Will
Environment: Domesticated or Temperate HillsWarm plains
Organization: Solitary or herd (636)
Challenge Rating: 7
Advancement: 1222 HD (Huge)

Combat: Tembu are not aggressive creatures and prefer to flee trouble. Their nose-horns are not designed for fighting and they are loathe to attack. The greater danger from a tembu is being stepped on.

Ornery: Tembu are alternately stubborn and skittish, and give a +2 DC to Handle Animal checks used to deal with them.

Trample: A tembu's trample attack has a save DC 25.

Carrying Capacity: A light load for a tembu is up to 3190 pounds; a medium load, 31916380 pounds; and a heavy load, 63819600 pounds. A tembu can drage 48000 pounds.


Shandix and Obrovon
Whereas tembu are bred for strength, shandix are bred for speed. They are an antelope-like creature with striped flanks. Both sexes have horns, but on the male they are straight and on the female they are coiled. Because of this, females are used more commonly as mounts, for the safety of the rider. Shandix are unable to carry particularly heavy loads - more than about 100 pounds and they will refuse to move. Otherwise, they can run swiftly and are used by couriers. Unlike tembu, shandix are pretty fearless and can be trained as mounts of war, although again due to their light carrying capacity they are better suited to skirmishing and scouting. The obrovon originates from Obrenaja and is a similar creature to the shandix, but slightly hardier. A shandix costs 75 gp (7500 yen), whilst a war shandix costs 150 gp (15 thousand yen). Obrovon cost 90 gp (9000 yen) for a riding beast or 180 gp (18 thousand yen) for a war-trained obrovon.

Shandix
Medium Animal
Hit Dice: 2d8+2 (11 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 13 (+1 Dex, +2 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2
Attack: Gore -3 melee (1d6)
Full Attack: Gore -3 melee (1d6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +0
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 6
Skills: Listen +5, Spot +5
Feats: Run
Environment: Temperate plains
Organization: Domesticated
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Advancement: -

Combat: Shandix prefer to run from trouble and only fight when trapped. War shandix are trained to use their horns on a charge, and have an attack modifier of +2.

Carrying Capacity: A light load for a shandix is up to 75 pounds; a medium load, 76150 pounds; and a heavy load, 151225 pounds. A shandix can drag 1125 pounds.

Obrovon are similar but have Constitution 14 (add +1 hp and Fortitude save). They gain Endurance as a bonus feat.


Thell Eagle and Aadrul
Thell eagles nest in the high reaches of Thellingerstan and are large enough for a man to ride upon them. The Thells raise these birds from eggs, and an eagle rider needs to be present at the hatching so as to imprint on the chick. Eagle riders are revered warriors in Thellingerstan, known as the Eagle Lodge and so the eagles and their eggs are rarely for sale. They can be bought for about 2000 gp (200 thousand yen) on the black market. Training a Thell eagle takes about one year and requires a DC 19 Handle Animal check.

Aadrul (sometimes called ardrul) are buzzard-like carrion birds from the canyons of Dronistor and are considered sacred. The dron people lay the bodies of their dead out on funeral platforms where they are devoured by the aadrul and thus returned to the sky. Aadrul are not powerful fighters and so they are used more for transport purposes. It is less work to train an aadrul compared to a Thell Eagle - it takes about one year at a DC 18 Handle Animal check to train one for riding, but this can be done with adult birds. Eggs are sold for 500 gp, chicks for 600 gp, an untrained adult for 1000 gp and a trained adult bird for 1200 gp. The Empire has tried to assimilate both types of aerial mount into its military, with limited success. In both cultures the birds and their riders are too independent to stay loyal to an entity such as the Empire.

Thell Eagle
Large Animal
Hit Dice: 4d8+4 (22 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares), fly 80 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 15 (1 size, +3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+11
Attack: Claw +6 melee (1d6+4)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +6 melee (1d6+4) and 1 bite +4 melee (1d8+2)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +6
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Listen +4, Spot +15
Feats: Alertness, Flyby Atttack
Environment: Temperate mountains (Thellingerstan)
Organization: Solitary, pair or eyrie (2-6)
Challenge Rating: 2
Advancement: 5-8 HD (Large)

Combat: Thell eagles like to dive from a great height, and when it cannot do this it will attack with claws and beak. Wild Thell eagles only attack if they feel that their nest is threatened, although lone eagles sometimes attack intelligent prey out of hunger.

Skills: Thell eagles have a +4 racial bonus to Spot checks.

Carrying Capacity: A light load for a Thell eagle is up to 300 pounds; a medium load, 301600 pounds; and a heavy load, 601900 pounds.

Aadrul
Large Animal
Hit Dice: 3d8+3 (16 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares), fly 80 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 14 (1 size, +3 Dex, +2 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+9
Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d8+3)
Full Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d8+3) and 2 claws -1 melee (1d4+3)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 9
Skills: Listen +3, Spot +9
Feats: Alertness, Hover
Environment: Temperate badlands (Dronistor)
Organization: Domesticated, or solitary, pair or flight (3-24)
Challenge Rating: 2
Advancement: 4-6 HD (Large); 7-9 HD (Huge)

Combat: Aadrul are not great fighters and prefer to avoid combat. Their talons are quite weak and they prefer to use their bite to help them escape attackers.

Skills: Aadrul have a +4 racial bonus to Spot checks.

Carrying Capacity: A light load for an aadrul is up to 230 pounds; a medium load, 231500 pounds; and a heavy load, 501690 pounds.


Orrian Beetles
The island of Or in the Technocracy of Hudan is home to many large insect species. One species of giant black-backed beetle, the 'Lugger,' has been raised as a pack animal. These beetles are docile and gregarious, and can easily be persuaded to join together in a long caravan, controlled by alchemical substances. Luggers cost 15 gp (1500 yen) each. 'Hoppers' are another species of riding beetle with passing similarities to a giant flea (although they eat detritrus, not blood). They are capable of jumping great distances but this trait makes them disconcerting for untrained riders. Hoppers cost 300 gp (30 thousand yen). There is no difference between a war-trained or a riding hopper - this comes from the rider rather than the mount.
A set of Ocrisian vermin powder is needed to control luggers and hoppers. A collection of vials containing scents that allow commands such as 'stop', 'go', 'defend' and 'attack' to be issued to the beetles costs 50 gp (5 thousand yen) per kit. Each beetle species requires its own kit, but the kits do not effectively run out. These boxes of vials weigh one pound each.

Lugger Beetle
Large Vermin
Hit Dice: 4d8+8 (26 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (1 size, +7 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+15
Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d8+4)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d8+4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Trample 1d8+8
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft, vermin traits
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +1
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 10, Con 16, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 5
Skills: -
Feats: -
Environment: Domesticated or temperate plains
Organization: Cluster (630)
Challenge Rating: 1
Advancement:

Combat: Lugger beetles are docile detritivores by nature, but can deliver a sharp bite if startled. The greater danger from lugger beetles is being trampled by a line of them.

Trample: Reflex save DC 20 for half damage. The DC is Strength based.

Carrying Capacity: A light load for a lugger beetle is up to 1224 pounds; a medium load, 12252450 pounds; and a heavy load, 24513680 pounds. A lugger beetle can drag up to 18,400 pounds.

Hopper
Large Vermin
Hit Dice: 4d8+8 (26 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 18 (1 size, +2 Dex, +7 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+11
Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+4)
Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Leap attack
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., vermin traits
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +2
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 15, Con 14, Int -, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Jump +24
Feats: -
Environment: Domesticated or temperate plains
Organization: Solitary, pair or clutch (4-16)
Challenge Rating: 2
Advancement: 58 HD (Large)

Combat: Wild hoppers use their leaping ability to escape from trouble. War-trained hoppers are taught to hurl themeselves into a foe. This has the effect of a either a bull rush or a trip attack, chosen by the rider and depending upon the trajectory of the hopper. The defender can make an attack of opportunity as normal, and set weapons against a charge.

Skills: A hopper gains a +20 bonus to Jump checks. All jumping distances (horizontal and vertical) are treated as if the hopper had a running start, even if from standing. A hopper cannot jump if carrying a heavy load.

Carrying Capacity: A light load for a hopper is up to 200 pounds; a medium load, 201400 pounds; and a heavy load, 401600 pounds.


Noyaki
Noyaki may stem from the same rootstock as the tembu, and resemble miniature versions of their larger cousins. They are small yak-like animals with thick shaggy wool and large sharp horns. On the males the horns are larger. Noyaki are about the size of a medium breed of dog. The females are larger than the males and stand about 2 1/2 feet tall at the shoulder.
The Noyaki are found near the Great Glacier where food is scarce, making their diminutive size an advantage. They are used as beasts of burden in regions such as Ut'Bharma and Thellingerstan as well as for meat, wool, dairy and as guard animals, for noyaki have a pack mentality and are quite aggressive towards strangers. Noyaki cost 10 gp (1000 yen) each.

Noyaki
Small Animal
Hit Dice: 1d8+3 (7 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+1 size, +2 Dex, +2 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-2
Attack: Gore +2 melee (1d4+1)
Full Attack: Gore +2 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +3
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Climb +7 Listen +3, Spot +3
Feats: Alertness
Environment: Cold mountains
Organization: Domesticated or herd (630)
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Advancement: 24 HD (Small)

Combat: Noyaki are aggressive and use their horns to drive off anyone that they do not recognise as part of the herd. Multiple noyaki will team up against larger opponents, gaining flanking bonuses.

Skills: Noyaki gain a +4 bonus to Climb checks. They apply their Dexterity bonus rather than Strength bonus to Climb checks.

Carrying Capacity: A light load for a noyaki is up to 56 pounds; a medium load, 57112 pounds; and a heavy load, 113295 pounds. A noyaki can drag 1470 pounds.


Shri
Shri are a species somewhere between a bird and a lizard. The wild shri is about the size of a turkey, with a colourful feathered crest, scales and a toothed beak. They have rudimentary feathered forelimbs but their flight capability is little more than an assisted leap. Wild shri are vicious creatures. The females fight other females for territory and then the males fight other males for the females. A female will fight a male if she doesn't like him. The young fight each other for the attentions of their parents. Any shri will happily attack an intruder or perceived rival of any size and species.

Shri have been domesticated in the Empire for two different purposes. Fighting shri are slightly smaller than their wild cousins, but perhaps even more aggressive. Shri fights are a common source of entertainment and a reason for gambling throughout much of the Empire. Breeding a fighting shri is a shady and dangerous business since competition can be fierce and criminal gangs are commonly involved.

Ornamental shri, on the other hand, are much more docile and have been bred for their plumage. Many varieties exist, including tiny breeds the size of sparrows. Breeding ornamental shri is a popular genteel pastime for the wealthy, although it can sometimes be as cut-throat as the world of fighting shri. Shri can cost anything from 1 sp (10 yen) for an untrained wild creature, to 1000 gp (100 thousand yen) for a pedigree ornamental or champion fighter. The statistics below are for the larger, fighting breed.

Shri Small Animal
Hit Dice: 1d8+1 (5 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares) or fly 40 ft. (clumsy)
Armor Class: 14 (+1 size, +2 Dex, +1 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-4
Attack: Claw +3 melee (1d4-1)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +3 melee (1d4-1) and bite -2 melee (1d3-1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Tenacious
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +1
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Listen +1, Spot +2
Feats: Weapon Finesse
Environment: Temperate forest
Organization: Domesticated, solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Advancement: 24 HD (Small)

Combat: Shri are fierce combatants and employ their full attack sequence as soon as they can. They are very unlikely to back down from a fight and nearly always fight to the death.

Tenacious (Ex): A wounded shri refuses to give up. Shri can continue to act fully even when disabled or dying. They still lose hit points at the rate of 1 per round when dying, and die at -10 hit points but before this they do not lose any actions.

At the gamesmaster's option, fighting shri may take a few levels of the warrior NPC class to reflect their specific training. In such a case, the shri may not take the Handle Animal or Ride skills.


Vugs
Vugs ('vug' is sometimes used as a plural noun as well) are squat humanoid creatures, standing about three to four feet tall with flat-topped, triangular heads and stocky bodies. Their arms are slightly longer relative to their body than would be the case for a human. Their eyes are small and solid black. They are totally hairless and their skin is smooth. It is either a mottled orange colour or mottled purple. They have no obvious nose, and a small lipless mouth. There are no genders discernable to humans, although some conjecture that the purple and orange varieties represent sexual differences.

Despite their humanoid appearance, vugs are almost mindless and have no culture of their own. They can be commanded to perform a task, however, and they will continue to do so tirelessly. Vugs seem able to comprehend any language spoken to them although they do not speak. They are used throughout the Empire for tasks too menial or dangerous for humans, although they are expensive to buy since they must be caught wild in the uplands near Nirhamsa, Kronlordan and Thellingerstan. Vugs are not known to reproduce in captivity, nor do they eat unless commanded and there is conjecture that they are some form of construct rather than living beings. Philosophers of the Empire have debated the status of the vug for many centuries without conclusion. Vugs do not show signs of fatigue or illness, but they sometimes carry a disease known as 'vug fever' which can affect humanoids. Vugs cost 100 gp (10 thousand yen) each. The services of a Vug Handler in order to train a vug costs 5 sp (50 yen) per vug, per day.

Vug
Small Animal
Hit Dice: 2d8+4 (11 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 20 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 12 (+1 size, +1 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-1
Attack: Slam +3 melee (1d3+2 nonlethal)
Full Attack: Slam +3 melee (1d3+2 nonlethal)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Energy resistance 5, immunities, low-light vision
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +3
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 10, Con 15, Int -, Wis 10, Cha -
Skills: Special, see below.
Feats: -
Environment: Temperate mountains
Organization: Domesticated
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Advancement: -

Combat: Vug are not natural fighters and do not even fight to defend themselves. They can be trained to deliver a weak slam attack with their fists, but weapon training requires too much initiative for them to master. At best, a vug can swing a weapon back and forth repetitively, in which case use the above attack bonus with weapon damage instead. Vugs never make attacks of opportunity.

Immunities (ex): Vugs are immune to all disease of a non-magical nature. They gain a +4 bonus to saving throws against poison.

Skills: Lacking intelligence, vug have no skills of their own. They can, however, be trained in any simple task. To do so requires Profession (vug handler). The difficulty of the check depends on the complexity of the task.

Task
Profession (vug handler) DC
Simple (walking on treadmill, sawing wood)
10
Composite (walking through maze, sawing several blocks of wood)
15
Complex (a journey that involves walking, climbing and swimming, building a table to specification)
20

Organic Construct: Vug seem to fall somewhere between animal and construct. They are made of living tissue, heal naturally, can be healed by cure spells and suffer critical hits, but they lack a recognisable mind. They are immune to all mind-affecting effects. Vug breathe, but do not seem to need to eat or sleep, and are immune to sleep effects, nonlethal damage, fatigue and exhaustion. Vug can be stunned, paralysed, ability damaged and drained, and affected by death effects. They use the features of the Animal type and are treated as Animals for the purposes of type-specific spells and abilities (such as Bane weapons).

Carrying Capacity: A light load for a vug is up to 66 pounds; a medium load, 67133 pounds; and a heavy load, 134200 pounds. A vug can drag up to 1000 pounds. A vug's movement is not reduced by load.

Vug Fever: Some vug carry a disease known as vug fever, and can be recognised by small white spots in their eyes. A Heal or Profession (vug handler) check (DC 15) can spot a fever-carrying vug. This disease is mildly debilitating to humans, causing fever and chills, but is rarely fatal. Contact DC 12, incubation period 1d3 days. Causes victim to be sickened and fatigued for every day which they fail a Fortitude saving throw. If a character suffers vug fever for five days or more (indicating a weak Constitution) the disease worsens and they begin to lose 1d3 Constitution per day as well as the other effects.

Sickened causes a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks and ability checks. Fatigue causes a -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. Doing anything that would cause fatigue causes the character to become exhausted.


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Oksa
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